Musc 340 Lecture 16: San Francisco, Psychedelia, and the Woodstock Generation

Download 51.5 Kb.
Size51.5 Kb.

MUSC 340 Lecture 16: San Francisco, Psychedelia, and the Woodstock Generation
I. 1960s Counterculture and Hippiedom

A. Evolves from Beat Generation -

1. Common philosophy -- define one's own morality

2. Beats pretty elite, intellectual - hippie movement more egalitarian

B. For various reasons, San Francisco becomes epicenter of movement

1. Begins 1965

2. By 1967 50,000 hippies in S. F.

C. Philosophy and life-style

1. Essentially, "do your own thing, as long as it doesn't hurt anybody"

2. Egalitarian communalism and tribalism

3. Free love (associated with pill)

4. Drug use, esp. of LSD

a. Feeling of timelessness

b. Increased sensitivity to stimuli

c. Dreamlike connection between thoughts

d. Sometimes hallucinations

5. Interest in Eastern religion, philosophy

II. Music of the revolution - psychedelic rock

A. Characteristics

1. Rejection of slick professsionalism

2. Extended instrumental improvisations, often involving minimalism-like

repetition of musical ideas

3.Electonic experimentation

a. feedback and distortion

b. Other, more avant-garde effects

4. Many players began in Dylan-esque folk or country music traditions

a. Mixture of folk influenes

b. And R&B/blues influenced style of Stones, other British invasion bands


7. Emphasis on light shows, psychedelic art

B. By 1967 over 1000 bands active in San Francisco area

1. A thing to do for unemployed hippies

2. Musicians attracted to hippie scene

3. Many opportunities to perform

a. Happenings

b. Free outdoor concerts

c. House parties

d. Concert halls

i. Avalon Ballroom

ii. Fillmore Auditorium, Fillmore West

a. Run by promoter Bill Graham

b. Guru of psychedelic rock

e. Progressive radio

i. FM radio

ii. Switch from "Top 40" format to AOR

aa. Album-orented

bb. Featured tracks from albums,

cc. And new, non-commercial bands

4. Most significant bands ---

C. Jefferson Airplane (Marty Balin, Paul Kantner, Grace Slick, Spenser Dryden, Jorma

Kaukonen, Jack Casady)

1. Founded 1965

a. Many members part of SF folk music scene

b. Name a pun on Blind Lemon Jefferson

c. Played for opening of Fillmore West

1. First S.F. band to sign with major label

2. Grace Slick (formerly of band Great Society) replaces Signe Anderson after fist

LP – Jefferson Airplane Takes Off

3. Most commercially successful acid rock band, esp. album Surrealistic Pillow

(1967) – first psychedelic rock LP to chart

a. Singles: Somebody to Love

b. and White Rabbit

4. White Rabbit

a. Former Great Society number

b. Slick wrote lyrics after tripping while listening to Miles Davis LP

Sketches of Spain

c. Lyrics based on Alice in Wonderland

d. Accompaniment influenced by Spanish music

i. persistent bolero rhythm in drums

ii. Spanish/Latin rhythms in rhythm and lead guitar

iii. Tone color of lead guitar recalls “Misirlu”

e. Vocals the focus of song

f. Gradual crescendo

i. Intro: individual entries by snare, bass, lead guitar

ii. Increase in volume

iii. Vocal line gradually increases in pitch

iv. Rhythm guitar becomes more aggressive and more prominent in


g. Production

i. Heavy reverb on all instruments save drums

ii. Echo on vocals

D. Janis Joplin (1943-1970)

1. First female superstar of rock

2. Fused blues, acid rock and country influences

a. Earliest influences classic blues singers like Bessie Smith

b. But also absorbed honky-tonk music from Texas upbringing

3. Arrives in S. F. in 1963; joins Big Brother and the Holding Company in 1966

a. First album Down On Me enjoys some success

b. Breaks out at Monterey International Pop festival

i. Free music festival at Monterey, CA

ii. Due to media interest in hippie counterculture, extremely well

attended by press, record executives, and other

entertainment folk

iii. Number of bands signed to contract on strenght of Monterey

Pop performances

c. Her performance a sensation

d. Especially her version of Big Mama Thorton tune - Ball and Chain

4. Style

a. Blues/gospel vocal inflections

b. Sensibilities of a soul or blues singer in interpretation

i. Melismas

ii. Added vocalizations

c. But quite different vocal tone – gritty blues “buzz”

d. Work with backing bands often close to Stax sound

5. Piece of my Heart

a. Cover of R&B hit by Erma Franklin

i. Sister of Aretha

ii. Also one of her background singers

iii. Responsible for backing vocals in “Respect”

b. verse/chorus form

c. Soulful vocal performance

d. Production

i. Distortion on most instruments

i. Feedback and end

6. Ball and Chain

a. Triple meter

i. Strong accent on first beat of every measure


b. Band - Full Tilt Boogie - clearly psychedelic rock

i. Heavy distortion

ii. Gospel-style organ, but with lots of reverb

iii. Dense muddy texture

iv. Drone provided by guitar or electric piano

c. Frequent stop time

d. Suspension of time for extended vocal improvisation

i. Vocalization

ii. Equivalent of sermon from gospel tradition, but in

conversational, hippie fashion

iii. Builds back into a capella vocals

E. Major defining event of hippie generation, rock music as definition of cultural change

was three-day festival of "peace, love, and music" in Woodstock NY in 1969

III. American Rock Sounds

A. Many San Francisco bands not acid rock

1. Drew on variety of influences, especially American roots music

a. Niche music from before WWII

b. blues, bluegrass, hillbilly, folk, etc.

2. Difference from British bands – not as focused on blues

B. Many country rock -- mixture of country, folk, rock, and blues influences

1. Same ingredients as rockabilly

2. But now informed by a decade of rock music

3. And greater familiarity with folk and other roots music styles

C. Creedence Clearwater Revival

1. Most popular band in America 1969-1970

2. Formidable string of top 10 hits

a. Bad Moon Rising

b. Down on the Corner

c. Born on the Bayou

d. Proud Mary

e. Fortunate Son

3. Style

a. Rock music flavored with country or rockabilly guitar fills

b. country-influenced lyrics, but blues rock vocal style

c. Country themes - southern landscape, identity

d. Often two-beat bass patterns, like honky-tonk

3. Proud Mary

a. Fusion of country, rock, blues, and soul

b. Pentatonic opening riff, with tonal triadic harmonies

c. narrow range

d. country and blues influenced vocals

e. verse/chorus form

D. The Grateful Dead [Jerry Garcia (1942-1995), Ron "Pigpen" Mc Kernan, Phil Lesch,

Micky Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Bob Weir]

1. Members from diverse backgrounds

a. Garcia: folk/country music

b. Lesch: Classical, avant-garde electronic composition

c. Hart: world music percussion

d. McKernan: blues

2. Began as jug band

a. Jug band music – African American instrumental music using home

made instruments

b. By 1960s, more blues-influenced version of skiffle

2. First gigs in S.F. area acid tests (party-happenings with live music, LSD while

still legal) thrown by author Ken Kesey

a. Room to experiment

b. Developed style of extended improvisational jams that defined band

3. Early style closer to blues, acid rock

4. Most successful albums - Workingman's Dead and American Beauty (1970) -

capture simpler, more country influenced narratives

5. Uncle John's Band

a. Intro - each line lies foundation for next; accompaniment, melody

introduced in turn

b. Formally both simple and complex

i. Initial section A (Come hear Uncle John's Band)

aa. 16 bars long, but in two parts

bb. First four lines

--Begins on upbeat (last beat of intro)

ii. A repeated

ii. B section (8 bars)- bridge

aa. Melodically, quite similar after first bar

bb. Different harmonies

iii. C section (bars)

aa. Like last 8 bars of A

bb. Refrain-like character - always begins "Come hear"

cc. Repeated, but second is instrumental

iv. Two A sections

v. Another C section

vi. B section - bridge to

vii. Instrumental section (D)

aa. Based on seven repetitions of 7 beat pattern (4 +3)

bb. Riff-like

cc. Then goes back into 4 beat pattern of rest of song

dd. In concert, this is the section that would be expanded to

10, 15, 20 minutes of soloing - here, just get

warmed up and then

ee. Ends "Who-oah what I want…"

viii. Pause, then C section a capella

ix. B section, extended, then fades out

c. Note

i. Close 3 pt. vocal harmonies, influenced by Byrds

ii. Two drummers - more percussion color

iii. Influence of world music

iv. Use of mixed meters, additional beats -- far freer than

commercially produced rock

v. Possibility for extended solos in live performance

IV. Latin rock

A. As rock comes to dominate popular (= commercial) music scene in U.S. and Europe,

other musics have to come to terms with

1. Either reject

2. Or incorporate rock into national or established styles

B. Turns out, pretty easy to do – rock mixes well

C. Number of such “fusions”

1. Some, like Yoruban highlife, only popular in native country

2. Others made commercial inroads as part of rock mainstream

D. “World Music” not a new phenomenon, per se

1. Cuban dances, such as the mambo and rhumba, in 1930s

2. About the same time, Americans introduced to Brazilian rhythms as well

a. Transmitted through movies set in exotic, tropical locations

b. Mostly through person of Carmen Miranda

i. Samba singer in Brazil

ii. Films incorporated samba, other Latin music

E. Carlos Santana

1. Mexican-born guitarist

2. Forms Santana Blues Band in San Francisco in 1967

a. Fused blues and Afro-Cuban rhythm section:

i. “Blues, like everybody else,

ii. but added Afro-Cuban rhythms, so now the women could


iii. Heavy Latin flavor

b. Adds two conga drummers to group

i. In addition to drummer

ii. Also play auxiliary percussion

c. So – pretty rhythmicaly complicated

i. Drums frequently create cross-rhythms, polyrhythms

ii. rhythmic layering

iii. Little to no emphasis on backbeat

d. Organ/electric keyboards also integral part of band

3. “Blues band” dropped by 1969 breakout performance at Woodstock

4. But still influenced by blues

a. Hammond organ

b. Santana’s guitar style

5. Oye Como Va

a. Cover of mambo by Tito Puente – influential Cuban band leader

b. Opening organ riff – clave-ish

c. As is bass riff – but don’t coincide

d. Guitar riff layed over that

i. Almost light style – lots of space between notes

ii. Distortion, pedal effects

iii. Riff drops out under vocals

iv. Forms basis for solos, bridges

IV. Funk

A. General

1. Influence of James Brown on black music still very much in force

a. Rhythm the driving influence

b. Dense, rhythmic layering

c. Over syncopated riffs

2. Late 60s-early 70s rhythms get even more complex

a. Sixteen-beat rhythmic foundation standard

b. Creates more cross-rhythmic conflict between lines

c. Polyrhythmic – several independent rhythmic lines at once

d. Syncopated bass lines, guitar riffs

i. Percussiveness emphasized by removing or weakening pitch

ii. Choked guitar sound

iii. “Slapped” bass – bump or slap strings with side of thumb,

rather than pluck

e. short vocal phrases

f. Lots of repetition of words and phrases

g. conversational delivery

B. Takes on a new flavor – and transmitted to wider audience – through Sly and the

Family Stone (Sylvester Stewart, Freddie Stewart, more)

1. Formed band The Stoners in 1966, evolved into Sly and the Family

a. Interracial band

c. male and female members (trumpeter Cynthia Robinson,

pianist Rose “Stone” Stewart

2. Appearance at Woodstock introduced to mainstream, white audience

3. Fusion of soul, psychedelic rock, and new James Brown

4. Riff driven polyrhythmic structure

5. over minimal chord changes or pentatonic scales

6. From psychedelia - fuzztone and distortion effects

7. Avoided strong backbeat; all four beats accented evenly, and heavily

a. Flat four beat

b. This is the defining characteristic of funk

8. Horns - Something like update of Booker T. and the MGs

9. Thank You Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin

a. Primarily 8 bar sections

i. most have new lyrics on each repetition

ii. Others are refrain – “Thank you, for lettin’ me, be mice elf….”

b. Polyrhythms created between separate patterns of guitar, bass, var.


c. Lots o’ rhythmic layering

d. Particularly evident electronic manipulation of guitars

i. Wah-wah riff in guitar, with very little reverb

ii. Becomes a standard tone color of funk

e. Popped bass – strings plucked sharply, with great force

f. Together – short, percussive string sounds

g. Dense, intricate texture composed of at least five or six layers of

rhythmic activity

h. Can’t imagine where another rhythmic layer would go!

10. Check out other examples on web site

--3rd and 7th bars have only 3 beats - why?

cc. Last four are 4 to the bar, 4 beat feel, paralleled in other

A sections

dd. Note - tight, close vocal harmonies

ee. Relaxed vocal style - folk influences

Share with your friends:

The database is protected by copyright © 2020
send message

    Main page